Expressing confidence that there will be no problems in the passage of the forthcoming state Budget, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday said the four Congress MLAs who have rebelled are in touch with him.
“I have seen media reports that these rebels will not attend the Assembly at the time of voting on Budget. I don’t know if they are in touch with the Congress but they are in regular touch with me. I even spoke to them at 5 am today. They will come to the Assembly and the budget will be passed. Nothing to worry,” the chief minister stated while speaking to a select media group.
“The issue of the four MLAs was not a big problem. There are local issues there. If issues come to a flashpoint and if there is a problem during voting on the budget, it is BJP legislators who will save me. Hence, I am cool.”
The chief minister added: “I have no problem with these media reports (about the Congress-JD(S) coalition government’s longevity). The publicity gives an impression that the government is unstable, that Congress rebels won’t come to Assembly and the government will fall. It won’t happen.”
He said the BJP was waiting with bated breath, trying to lure the vulnerable legislators, telling them that 15 MLAs are with them already, that this is their best chance etc. “But they won’t succeed. The BJP should know that every day is not Sunday.”
The BJP did succeed in Operation Kamala (luring the opposition MLAs to resign) earlier. That was because the BJP was in power then. It is not so now. No MLA will go now, Kumaraswamy said and added that he was not disturbed by reports that his government was unstable.
“I don’t indulge in political management. That is not required. Ask my officers – I have been working for the Budget for the last 15 days. I work since morning till late in the evening.”
Asked about some Congress MLAs depicting former chief minister Siddaramaiah as their CM, Kumaraswamy said the Congress leader himself has said the CM’s chair was not vacant. “Anybody can become CM but he should have numbers. Nothing wrong in what they said. I am not worried. I do my work. In any case, the Assembly election is four years away. I am planning for the next four years. Let them say what they want to say, I know how to take out the fuse.”
Asked about the sharing of seats with the Congress for the Lok Sabha elections, he said party president H D Deve Gowda will take a call on that. He, however, averred that the JD(S) would contest 2-3 seats in North Karnataka.